Still learning how to give up "my" time!

“Children, by definition, take up our time.  They’re supposed to do that; it’s the way God made them.”

“I was called to give up my rights simply out of my love for Jesus.”

“To have significant energy for the task, we must make the choice to embrace motherhood wholeheartedly.” Mission of Motherhood (Sally Clarkson)

Careening down the highway in my little blue, crv, stuffed to the gills with moving, warm bodies of my larger than life children (6 foot 5, 6 foot 3, 5 foot 10, 5 foot 6 and me), rocking to the rhythms and bass of the contemporary favorite tunes from ipods, I felt a deep happiness come over me.

Giggling, laughing at inside jokes, being too loud, sharing opinions and being happy to be in each other's company brought a whisper prayer of thankfulness to God, for all he has built into our family culture to make each of these each other's best friends. That my children want to be together and want to be with me is deeply satisfying, knowing that all of them have a bigger life than just our family.

Bribing all of my captives with a breakfast out to a 5 star hotel, a sweet memory from our past when they had done this, opened the door to making one more great memory. I hoped would continue to tie the threads of our souls together just a little bit more. It is thousands of such threads that make us "The Clarksons." Our own unique flavor of family--rock music when we washed the dishes, Sunday afternoon teas, always great books and stories, music at the dinner table, rousing discussions, heart-felt devotions.The meals we love, the way we do chores. It all comes back to life when we get the rare chance of being together. And each time we are all together, I know my work is to keep reminding them of the foundations, the values they have been given, the faith and convictions we all hold.

Some wonderful friends had chipped in to give Clay and me a gift card for a restful getaway at this hotel after an exhausting summer of ministry. It was absolutely amazing and wonderful. But we will take it later in the fall when the rooms are half-price. But this card gave me an opportunity to spoil my sweet ones. (My children still split meals and drink water so as to save money--it is just an expected way to go--we were always trying to save our pennies, so they still know that we celebrate life--but also have a way of doing fun things within our budget.) 

Joel and Joy savored a avocado, cheese, bacon omelet. Sarah and I split crabcakes with pouched egg and citrus Holandaise sauce, and my Hollywood acting Nathan chose fruit and granola, a much healthier choice!

Method to my madness opened the door so that I could then have the opportunity to once again hold up the standard of God's word, to speak into their hearts. I have intentionally always told them  how blessed I was to be their mother, how I believed that each of them was called to do a work in their life-time for God's kingdom. Sarah, God has gifted you with such a mind, an artist with words, you were reading and writing as a wee one, and I knew somehow you would be a communicator of truth and ideas to your world. My gentle Joel, you were singing perfectly on tune at 18 months and harmony by 3! Music seeped from you your whole life. To step out in faith to become one who would write beautiful music seems a fit for your life of bringing excellence and beauty to the world. Nate, when you were only 6 years old, you acted out your hero Audie Murphy in a speech given to 150 people and I knew then you were made for an audience. I can't wait to see how you bring His light to a dark arena. Joy, you have been a communicator since you started talking at three. Your gift with people, your love for the Lord and confidence in leading, will give you the ability to teach and inspire many people to love God in your life time.

And so words of truth and love, spoken in a sweet moment of celebrating life, will hopefully keep building on the foundation of their souls that has been lovingly given one day at a time, years upon end. I find I am still changing my schedule and giving up my expectations of life to keep serving and giving to those for whom I will have to give an account before Jesus when I see Him face to face.

Sweet Sarah Mae at likeawarmcupofcoffee has been doing a once a week review and discussion of my book, Mission of Motherhood. I love her heart and the way she connects with other women. She has a true gift of ministry.

But as I was reading a couple of the quotations she took out of this book, which I wrote years ago when my children were much younger, I realized, that I am still learning the same things. But the difference is that I see that the principles I wrote down that I determined would be a part of my life, have become second nature to me after practicing them for so many years. It is not that I don't still struggle at times to have "my own time." I long for time alone and time to do what I want to do all the time!

But since I settled many years ago, that this was right for me to do, that it was a part of my spiritual service to God to serve in my home, I don't have to think about it or struggle with it like I used to when my children were smaller.  It is already a commitment that is deeply held in my heart,  so  when I have to decide to do it, the truth is a part of my grid through which I had learned to see and live life. Practice makes a principle become a reality.

This is the quote that I thought so applied to me then and to me now!“I have already made a decision to make myself available in the routine tasks and myriad interruptions of daily life because I believe it is God’s will for me to serve my family through them.  Making this choice ahead of time means I will expect problems and needs to arise and be ready to deal with them in peace instead of impatience and resentment.” Mission of Motherhood

Thanks, Sarah Mae, for reminding me of this again today!